Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Hua Kuo-feng sums up China’s struggle against ’gang of four’

First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 10, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Hua Kuo-feng, Chairman of the Commnist Party of China, delivered a major address summing up the struggle against the “gang of four” at last month’s National Conference on Learning from Tachai in Agriculture. He also put forward the Party’s policy for how this struggle should be carried out in 1977.

A previously unpublished article by Chairman Mao entitled “On the Ten Major Relationships” (1956) was also made public at the Tachai Conference and used as a basic text studied by all the delegates. It was released in the Chinese press on the occasion of Chairman Mao’s birthday (December 26) and is of great importance in understanding the struggle against the “gang.” (Both this article and Chairman Hua’s speech will be reprinted in future sues of The Call.)

Chairman Hua began his speech by pointing out the grave danger which the “gang’s” plot to seize party and state power presented to China after Chairman Mao’s death: “Should their scheme have succeeded,” he said, “that would have led to a great retrogression and split in our Party and country and touched off a major civil war.”

“They would have directly capitulated to imperialism and social-imperialism, relying on the aggressor’s bayonet to prop up their puppet throne, and there would have been both internal strife and foreign aggression. At that time, we were faced with the very immediate danger of capitalist restoration, a danger of our Party turning revisionist and our country changing its political color.”

But Chairman Hua pointed out that the broad masses in China immediately grasped the significance of the “gang’s” counterrevolutionary activity and rose up under the leadership of the Central Committee to smash them.

He emphasized that even in Shanghai, where the “gang” had built up the most influence for themselves, the masses’ hate and indignation for them “burst out with the speed and momentum of a volcanic eruption.”

Detailing the crimes of the “gang,” Chairman Hua showed that they withheld and distorted Chairman Mao’s directives; attacked leading Party cadres and were particularly bent on overthrowing the late Premier Chou En-lai; constantly attacked the People’s Liberation Army; violated Chairman Mao’s directives on giving mistaken cadres a chance to change; incited bourgeois factionalism, even trying to instigate civil war; tried to split the unity of China’s nationalities; conspired with the most decadent and counter-revolutionary vandals and thieves to disrupt the country’s stability; turned a blind eye to the people’s sufferings, such as during the Tangshan earthquake; tried to undermine Chairman Mao’s line on foreign policy and carried out illicit relations with foreign powers; sabotaged all socialist economic and cultural undertakings, and thoroughly tried to smash China’s socialist economy.

With all these crimes on the record, Chairman Hua concluded that despite all the “gang’s” attempts to parade themselves as “leftists,” ”they are ultra-rightists, out-and-out capitalist-roaders.” He also showed that Chang Chun-chiao, Chiang Ching and Yao Wen-yuan all had ties to Chiang Kai-shek and other reactionaries as far back as the 1930s.

In looking forward to the new year, Chairman Hua called for continuing to take class struggle as. the key link in four main ways.

First, he urged a deepening of the mass movement to expose and criticize the “gang.” Secondly, he called for heightened party-building efforts to strengthen the unity of the Party and its centralized leadership and to oppose the “corrosion” which the “gang” had brought to the Party by recruiting and promoting members on an incorrect basis. In 1977, he said, new congresses and elections would be held at local levels.

Thirdly, Hua Kuo-feng called for deepening the mass movements to learn from Tachai in agriculture and from Taching in industry. He sternly denounced the “gang’s” bankrupt attack on every effort to promote production, pointing out that “revolution means liberating the productive forces.” A conference on Taching, similar to the current one on Tachai, will be called in 1977, said Chairman Hua.

Finally, Hua Kuo-feng called for more conscientious study of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung and announced that the long awaited fifth volume of Chairman Mao’s Selected Works will be printed in the first half of 1977.

“1977 will be a year in which we shall smash the “gang of four” completely and go towards greater order, a year of unified struggle and triumphant advance.” he said in summary. He also took special note of the support given to China’s victories by Marxist Leninist parties and organizations internationally.

The fact that this highly significant speech of Chairman Hua was given at the Tachai Conference was also important. The struggle over the correct road for China’s agriculture and her 700 million peasants has been a major arena of struggle with the “gang.” The “gang,” led by Chiang Ching, had viciously attacked the model Tachai commune as well as Hua Kuo-feng’s speech given in 1975 at the first Conference on Learning from Tachai in Agriculture.

Chairman Mao issued his famous call to “learn from Tachai” in 1964 after studying the developments within that particular production brigade. At Tachai, a barren wasteland was turned into a green valley with the peasants relying on their own hands and Marxism-Leninism as their only tools.

Chen Yung-kuei, the former leader of the Tachai production brigade who is now a member of the Party Central Committee and Vice-Premier of the State Council, gave a speech to the Conference summing up the struggle against the “gang” in the realm of agriculture.

Chen pointed out the need to greatly expand agricultural production and achieve the goal of modernizing China by the year 2000. This goal was set by Chou En-lai in his report to the 10th Party Congress, although the “gang” opposed it.

The goal of modernizing China directly flowed from Chairman Mao’s thesis in his 1956 article on the “Ten Great Relationships” that the country should “mobilize all positive factors to build China into a powerful socialist country.”

Chen said that “The rate of agricultural development has fallen much behind the requirements of the country’s socialist revolution and construction.”

To remedy this situation, he said, it is necessary to use the struggle against the “gang” as the motive force in fulfilling the tasks set by the Party Central Committee–to build more than one-third of the counties into Tachai-type counties by 1980 and to realize in the main the mechanization of farming throughout the country by the same year.

The conference also heard speeches by Party cadres from various agricultural regions. Delegates from the Tachai brigade itself told how Chiang Ching lorded it over the masses when she visited the commune last year. Chiang Ching set herself up in luxurious quarters, refused to join the peasants in productive labor, and charged that Tachai was “politically backward.”

A delegate from Shantung province said that “For years, our cadres and the masses sensed something wrong in what the ’gang of four’ did.. .We knew if we fought against them, they would make many false charges against us and attack us. But it’s against our Party spirit to sit back.. .After weighing this in our minds, we decided to fight.”

The experience of the Chinese masses has already demonstrated that the attempt by the “gang of four” to wreck the socialist economy and sow confusion among the people, like the attempts of capitalist-roaders before them, cannot succeed. The downfall of Wang, Chang, Chiang, and Yao–thanks to the decisive leadership of the Party and its Chairman Hua Kuo-feng–has made the millions of Chinese peasants even more enthusiastic and determined to take up their historic task of build-in socialism in their country.